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Byers calls for PFI audits to restore trust

Former transport secretary Stephen Byers has called for annual independent audits of private finance initiative deals to restore the public's faith in such schemes.

Link: MoD dismisses worries over PFI scheme

Byers, speaking at the Social Market Foundation in London, said such audits would confirm that PFI schemes are performing well and help dispel public belief that the rules are rigged in favour of the PFI option.

At the same time he criticised existing PFI deals, saying traditional public sector financing would have been better value than the first 11 PFI deals.

He claimed, nevertheless, to support public-private partnership deals.

Byers said new Treasury rules discounting capital costs by 3.5% instead of 6% to reflect the cost of inflation over the period of the deal. This meant new PFI schemes would be better value.

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